The much anticipated 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 from Chrysler is now a reality.
The 240-hp oil burner will now be available in the Grand Cherokee and in the most awaited, Ram 1500 half-ton pickup.
Chrysler has beat out the competition in bringing a V6 diesel in a half-ton pickup. Ford announced one but it hasn’t been delivered. But Ram is delivering them as you read this.
With a robust 420 lb/ft of torque, the 3.0L is rated to produce 30-highway mpg with a driving range of more than 730 miles and a tow capacity of 7,400 pounds.
In the Grand Cherokee, the engine achieves 21-city mpg in 2WD mode, and in full-time 4X4 models, it’s rated at 20 city, 28-highway mpg. The same engine will be used in the Ram but has been tuned differently to handle the heavier truck.
According to Chrysler, the new 50-state clean 3.0L EcoDiesel engine produce low CO2 emissions and features MultiJet II common-rail injection and Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR). Both help achieve the aforementioned results.
Nomenclature wise, the 24-valve dual-overhead cam engine features a block and bedplate crafted from strong compacted graphite iron (CG), which contributes to stiffness without penalizing performance.
In addition, the 3.0L EcoDiesel’s 60-degree cylinder banks enable more efficient packaging, while effectively balancing the potent inertia generated by torque-rich diesels.
Chrysler claims that driver and passengers will expect a smooth, quiet ride due to its design. The new engine’s 1-4-2-5-3-6 firing order helps manage rotation so evenly that it needs no balance shaft to deliver the level of refinement for which the Grand Cherokee, in particular, is known for.
The engines’ quiet performance, as well as its optimal fuel economy and emissions reduction is attributed to the clean diesel’s common-rail fuel-injection system. Its 29,000-psi pressure is unmatched by any solenoid-based system. Additionally, swirl-control intake ports benefit from a variable-geometry turbocharger and intercooler that ensure the required engine response, whether merging on-road or surging off-road.
Temperature extremes are also addressed says Chrysler, in that the new engine’s turbo is water-cooled to handle searing heat, while low-voltage ceramic glow plugs accommodate quicker cold-weather starts. It has a compression ratio of 16.5:7.
The following are other key features and benefits of the new EcoDiesel.
* Finger-follower actuated valves with hydraulic lifters
* Chain-driver camshafts
* Piston-cooling oil jets
* Water-cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) for Tier II, Bin 5 and ULEV II compliance.
* B5 biofuel compatibility
* 50 state emission compliance.
The diesel is being made for Chrysler by VM Motori, a Cento, Italy company that has been making diesels for 65 years. And VM is wholly owned by Fiat after buying GM’s 50 percent share.
Chrysler is mating the EcoDiesel with a new 8-speed automatic transmission for better fuel economy, quicker acceleration and smoother shifting.
Another feature of the new trans is that it has a lower crawl ratio of 44.1:1 to aid in climbing over or through tough off-road obstacles when equipped with a two-speed transfer case. It’s also a beefier transmission that was designed to handle the higher torque produced by the new EcoDiesel.
As the 8-speed trans is fully electronic, it features manual shifting and Electronic Range Select using steering wheel paddle controls. Plus, it features on-the-fly shift map changing with more than 40 individual shifts maps for specific conditions that optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability.
As soon as the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 pickup with the new EcoDiesel are available for testing, we’ll review them in upcoming columns.
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